Driving Licence Codes: What are they and what do they mean?

Emma Swain from Motorworld Las Chafiras

With many people exchanging their UK licence either for a Spanish one due to Brexit, or because of the legal time limitations in force once a Residencia is granted, it seems important we advise people of the differences between them.

If you already hold a Spanish Licence you may not have noticed that on the reverse there are a variety of Categories and Codes.

We believe that most people either don't take any notice of these, or don't know what they mean, so, if you are not aware of them (or if any might apply to you) you could potentially face a fine (multa) if you are stopped by a policeman.

The front of your Licence is self-explanatory but for ease we will explain all.

Front of licence

  • Item 1: Your surname(s)
  • Item 2: Your First, or Christian, name
  • Item 3: Your Date, and place, of Birth
  • Item 4a: The commencement date of your Licence
  • Item 4b: The expiry date of your Licence
  • Item 4c: Issuing authority
  • Item 5: Your DNI/NIE Number
  • Item 6: Your photograph
  • Item 7: Your signature (per Application Form)
  • Item 9: Categories of Vehicles you are permitted to drive

Reverse of Licence:

  • Item 10: Commencement date of your original licence (not the start date as shown at item 4a if your licence has been exchanged from another country)
  • Item 11: Expiry date of your licence
  • Item 12: Codes (known as the 'Hidden Codes', e.g. If the Licence shows Code 01- this means you have to wear corrective lenses and/or eye protection, under the express directions of your Dr), so…
    • Code 01.01: You must wear glasses
    • Code 01.02: You must wear contact lenses
    • Code 01.03: You must wear safety glasses
    • Code 02: You are required to wear a hearing/communication aid
    • Code 03: You need a prosthetic/orthotic limb
    • Code 05: Driving restrictions for medical reasons
    • Code 05.01: You may only drive in daylight
    • Code 05.02: You are restricted to drive within a radius of (x) km of your place of residence/region
    • Code 05.03: You may only drive without passengers (or pillion riders if a motor bike)
    • Code 05.04: Restricted to maximum speed of (x) kph
    • Code 05.05: Driving only permitted with passenger who holds a valid Licence
    • Code 05.06: Driving allowed without a trailer
    • Code 05.07: Driving not permitted on Motorways
    • Code 05.08: No alcohol permitted (ZERO tolerance)

Can we suggest that you check your Licence to see if you have any of the above 'Restrictions', and, for example, if you have an '01' Code and have had an operation that no longer requires you to wear glasses or contact lenses, arrange a new medical and have this submitted to Tráfico to have the restriction removed.

We hope that you have found this information useful and if you require assistance in exchanging your Licence or arranging a for the replacement of a lost or stolen one, please do not hesitate to contact us.